Steve Clarke believes Scotland must move on from the controversial VAR call in their Euro 2024 qualifier and believes it was Spain’s night after the top seeds went on to win 2-0.
Scotland thought they had taken the lead in Seville when Scott McTominay scored from a free kick but after a VAR review the goal was ruled out.
Alvaro Morata then put Spain ahead with a header before Ryan Porteous and Sancet both slid in to try to win the ball and it was diverted into the Scotland net to double the hosts’ advantage.
“The team played well and the players are disappointed,” Clarke said. ““We came here determined to qualify. It hasn’t happened tonight but I think there was a lot to be pleased about in the performance.
“One of the challenges was to come here and be competitive with a top European team, which Spain are. Top.
“And we did that. So we can take a little bit of satisfaction from that once we get over the disappointment of losing the game.
“I said in March [after Scotland won 2-0 at Hampden],Spain were still in a period of transition.
“Now they have the confidence, they work together. They work well and have probably improved the team in two or three positions from where they were in March and they are improving.
“They’re a good team. It was our night in March and it’s Spain’s night tonight.”
On the VAR call, which has caused confusion over whether it was ruled out for a Jack Hendry foul or because the Scotland defender was interfering with play from an offside position, Clarke said the decision had been made and that there was “no point” in picking over the detail.
“The big moment in the game is probably the close decision on the Scott McTominay goal.
“At the time we think it is a goal.
“You know when the referee gets told to look at it he is probably going to chalk it off.
“They have made the call, there is no point me going on about it.
“I think there was a little bit confusion at the time, whether it was offside or for a foul on the keeper.
“If you take those two together, Jack Hendry was marginally offside and when he steps towards the goalkeeper they have interpreted that as Jack being involved in the play but I will tell you now there is now way in the world the keeper was saving that no matter where Jack Hendry was.
“You just move on, it is a VAR decision that goes against you.
“When we conceded it makes it more difficult and the second goal puts gloss on for Spain I don’t think they deserve.
“Tonight was a first chance to qualify. It has gone beyond us. Maybe the result on Sunday night goes in our favour and we qualify from that. But we won’t qualify from that, we will qualify for the work we have done, we have 15 points from six games.
“If the result doesn’t go our way and Norway win then we have a very realistic chance in the two games in November to win the section.”
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